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President Muhammadu Buhari has challenged the powers of the Federal High Court in Abuja to stop the prosecution of judges accused of engaging in acts of corruption. Buhari maintained that the high court was bereft of the jurisdiction to entertain a suit filed by a Lagos-based lawyer, Mr. Olukoya Ogungbeje, with a view to stopping the Federal Government from arraigning seven judges arrested after a “sting operation” the Department of State Services, DSS, conducted between October 7 and 8.
It will be recalled that trial Justice Gabriel Kolawole, had on October 28, summoned President Buhari and the Director-General of the DSS, Mr. Lawal Daura, to appear in court and show cause why the embattled judges should be tried.
Others equally ordered to appear before the court were the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, the Inspector- General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, and the National Judicial Council, NJC. They were all cited as Respondents in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/809/16.

The plaintiff had specifically applied for an order of perpetual injunction restraining the Respondents from arresting, inviting, intimidating, or harassing any of the judges whose homes were raided by the DSS. President Muhammadu Buhari presides over October 12 ,2016 Federal Executive Council meeting.
He contended that the arrest and detention of the judges without recourse to the NJC, was not only unconstitutional, but also aimed at ridiculing the judiciary arm of government. According to him, the action of the DSS is in gross violation of the rights of the judges as enshrined in sections 33, 34, 35, 36, and 41 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.
Consequently, Ogungbeje sought 10 separate reliefs from the court, including award of N50 billion as general and exemplary damages against the Respondents, as well as another N2 million as cost of the suit.
He equally prayed the court for an order compelling the DSS to return to the judges’, money seized from their homes. Justice Kolawole had at the last adjourned date, declined an ex-parte motion for an interim order stopping the FG from carrying out any “untoward action” against the Judges. Rather, he directed the plaintiff to put all the Respondents on notice to enable them to appear in court to show cause why prayers contained in the suit should not be granted.

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